Tag: Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid

After sitting out all of last season, Joel Embiid suffers setback with foot recovery


I think I speak for everyone when I say: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid sat out all of last season following surgery to left foot, but was on target to return to the court for Summer League (he looked good in warm ups). No longer. He has had a setback, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and later confirmed by the team. From Wojnarowski:

After weeks of rigorous workouts, Embiid had not felt pain in the foot, but a recent CT scan revealed an issue in the healing process, sources said. Philadelphia is consulting with doctors on how to best proceed, and it’s still premature to speculate on the possibility of another surgical procedure that could sideline Embiid, sources said.

Embiid had been expected to participate with Sixers’ summer league teams in July, but that could jeopardized now, sources said. For now, it is too soon to tell how long Embiid will be kept out.

Here is what Sixers GM Sam Hinkie said in the official release from the team:

“Recently, Joel and Sixers personnel traveled to Los Angeles for a series of routine exams with a number of physicians involved throughout this process. During his visit with Dr. Richard Ferkel, a standard CT scan on Joel’s right foot revealed less healing than anticipated at this point.

“Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, they findings cause us to pause and reassess current activities. Together with Joel and his representatives, we will continue to consoled with the experienced team of doctors who had been an integral part of his evaluations, while also engaging in dialogue with a broader set of experts and specialists.

“Discussions regarding the appropriate next steps are currently ongoing and we will share an update once it becomes available.”

Embiid had been considered a potential No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, but had surgery on his foot to repair a stress fracture just three days before the draft. He fell to No. 3, where the Sixers — with their tanking plan in place from management — were more than willing to wait a year to see what they had.

Now they may have to wait even longer.

If you’re wondering “could this injury impact what GM Sam Hinkie does in the draft?” well, that would involve predicting Hinkie was going to do in the first place. Good luck with that. Embiid had been sitting in on player interviews as the Sixers decide who to take with the No. 3 pick.



Scout calls Kristaps Porzingis best player in the draft: ‘He’s better than Karl Towns’

Kristaps Porzingis

Seemingly every NBA Draft has its international man of mystery, a skilled foreign-born player who intrigues scouts and team executives more and more as that fateful date approaches.

This year, that man is Kristaps Porzingis, an agile seven-footer with a smooth shooting stroke.

Porzingis participated in a group workout at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas on Friday, an event that was well-attended by plenty of front office decision-makers. And he drew nothing but rave reviews.

From Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Porzingis was VERY impressive in workout. A scout called him the best player in the draft “He’s better than Karl Towns,” said the scout.

Some league executives think Porzingis could become the best player in this draft. However, they believe KAT is the safe pick at No. 1 …

While Porzingis has solid offensive skills for a 7-1 PF, there’s a sense that Russell is still the better option for the Sixers.

Philadelphia is loaded with talented frontcourt players in Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, so Porzingis, for them, would almost certainly be a duplication.

The Sixers need guard play to compliment those interior players, so D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay appear to be more realistic options.

But Porzingis impressed. It’s unlikely the Timberwolves or the Lakers go there with one of the first two overall picks, but Phil Jackson attended this workout, and if he feels as strongly as some others, the Knicks just might.

Warriors drafted Draymond Green, other players meant to smash NBA’s conventional mold

during Game One of the 2015 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 4, 2015 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement.

OAKLAND — “He is undersized as a power forward and doesn’t have a game that makes him a three.”

That is a draft night critique of Draymond Green from us at PBT, and while we praised getting Green in the second round that comment fit the thinking when he was drafted — that he was a tweener who might not have a natural fit in the NBA.

“They said that. Who would he guard? Ironic,” Green said Saturday before Game 2 of the Finals, when he will spend some time guarding LeBron James. “Who is he? What does he do? Ironic. That’s what they said, (Charles) Barkley still say that sometimes, other people still writing it sometimes. Maybe they’ll stop writing it one day, maybe they won’t. It is what it is at this point.”

Today we praise the versatility of the Golden State Warriors, a team that starts four guys in the same size range, which allows them to switch nearly every pick. That versatility is key to their offense as well as nearly everyone can shoot threes or put the ball on the floor.

The Warriors didn’t want players who fit into conventional molds, they wanted to shatter the mold.

Remember that when we head into the draft in a few weeks and you read comments questioning where players fit.

Remember when Stephen Curry came into the league and there were a lot of questions about whether he could really be a point guard in the NBA, if he was really just going to be an undersized two guard who couldn’t create his own shot.

To quote Green, ironic.

There were questions about Klay Thompson, is he a two or a three? The concern with him was he was not going to be athletic enough to be a good defender.


“It goes on and on like that down the Warriors roster. There were enough questions about Harrison Barnes he was taken behind Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson.

“Coming through the draft, GMs and scouts asked me that, ‘What position do you play?’ And I tell them this answer: ‘I’m a basketball player,’” Green said. “Don’t sit here and tell me I’m a three, then you take away the things I can do at the four. Don’t tell me II’m a four and take away the things I do as a three. I’m a basketball player, you put me on the court and I’ll figure out a way to get it done.”

Steve Kerr and Curry will brush off those kinds of comments about the makeup of their team, or the old trope about how a jump shooting team can’t win the NBA title (didn’t the 2011 Dallas Mavericks already dispel that myth?).

“Most people brush it off,” Green said. “I laugh at it, but I always keep it right there in the back of the mind….

“That’s what my whole career has been fueled off of. Somebody saying what you can’t do, what I can’t do. So when I hear stuff like that saying what we can’t dp It just put me right back in that mindset that helped me get here.”

Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry said you have to praise Warriors GM Bob Meyers for having the vision to see past positions to put together that kind of versatile team. One that can throw a lot of different looks at you.

That goes all the way down to ball handling where guys like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston come into play, Green notes.

“I think that’s one of the neat things about our team, you’ve got different ball handlers to change the pace of the game — and on any possession. It’s not like you got to sit Steph to play Shaun, or sit Shawn to play Dre. You can play all of them together. It’s a constant change of pace thing, it gives the defense a different look every time.”

It’s also how the Warriors defend the game’s best player.

“They mixed it up…” LeBron said of the Warriors defense. “Sometimes they didn’t dig in the post. Sometimes they let me play one-on-one. Sometimes (Andrew) Bogut was over on the tilt and brought two defenders. They switched sometimes on pick-and-rolls. Sometimes they went under.

“So they were giving me everything. They’re not just giving me one steady dosage of we’re going to just let him play. No. That’s what they want to get out to you guys, but that’s not what’s happening. Yeah, I see it all throughout the course of the game. They’ve given me different matchups, just trying to keep me off balance.”

Versatility is one of the foundations on which the Warriors are built — they wanted guys who could do a lot of different things on the court. They didn’t want to fit the mold, they wanted to break it.

And it’s on the cusp of getting them an NBA title.

Just remember that when someone pans your team’s draft pick as a “tweener” in a couple weeks.

Report: Knicks could select Trey Lyles with fourth overall pick in NBA Draft

Trey Lyles

Leading up to the NBA Draft, teams leak various bits of information about prospects they may or may not be interested in — some of it is true, and some of it is simply meant to create leverage in potential trade scenarios.

If the latest report is to be believed, which says the Knicks have their eyes on Trey Lyles, it would appear to be the type of tidbit meant to create some trade opportunities.

From Frank Isola of the New York Daily News:

While Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein have garnered the most attention, the Knicks for months have been enamored with Trey Lyles, according to a team source. Lyles is a 6-foot-10 forward out of Indianapolis who Phil Jackson sees as a good fit for the triangle offense.

Would the Knicks select Lyles with the fourth overall pick? Crazier things have happened and if Jackson truly believes Lyles, the 2014 Indiana Mr. Basketball who was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and has played internationally for the U.S. and Canada, is worth it, perhaps he’ll make the move. A more plausible scenario would be for the Knicks to trade down, since most draft experts don’t see him as a top 10 pick.

Most mock drafts, including ours, have Lyles going outside of the lottery in the mid-first-round range.

New York isn’t likely to take a chance here if one of the consensus top-three prospects — Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor or D’Angelo Russell — remains on the board when it’s their turn to make a selection. That could happen, for example, if the Timberwolves or Lakers surprise by taking someone other than Towns or Okafor, because the Sixers are sitting at three, and already have two cornerstone bigs in Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, and could go with someone like Emmanuel Mudiay instead.

But if things go as they’re currently being projected, the Knicks would potentially have a difficult decision to make.

They wouldn’t need to use the fourth overall pick on Lyles if that’s who they truly want; trading down to get additional assets along with Lyles would make the most sense. But Phil Jackson is unproven in being responsible for making draft day decisions, so it’ll be very interesting to see if he can make the right maneuvers to get the player he wants — and do it in the most intelligent way possible.

How did DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul overcome Clippers’ defensive mediocrity to make All-Defensive first team?

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game One

All-Defensive team voters must think little of Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, J.J. Redick and the Clippers’ reserves.

That’s because DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul were voted to the All-Defensive first team despite the Clippers being roughly average defensively.

The lack of faith in the Clippers’ bench is understandable. But Griffin, Barnes and Redick are all capable defenders – not liabilities holding back Jordan and Paul. Considering the Clippers’ starters played together more than any other five-man unit this season, the Clippers’ reserves alone don’t explain the disconnect between the teams’ overall defense and Jordan’s and Paul’s accolades.

The Clippers ranked 15th in defensive rating, allowing 0.1 points fewer per 100 possessions than NBA average. They’re also the 34th team with multiple players on the All-Defensive first team.*

*Counting only players who spent the entire season with an All-Defensive teammate. Dave DeBusschere was trade mid-season to the Knicks in 1968-69, joining Walt Frazier in New York. 

Here’s how each of those 34 teams rated defensively relative to league average that year:


Team All-Defensive first-teamers Defensive rating relative to NBA average
2015 LAC Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan -0.1
2011 BOS Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo -7
2008 SAS Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan -5.7
2007 SAS Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan -6.6
2005 SAS Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan -7.3
1998 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -5.2
1997 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -4.3
1996 CHI Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -5.8
1995 SAS David Robinson, Dennis Rodman -2.9
1993 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars 0.9
1993 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -1.9
1992 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars -2.9
1992 CHI Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen -3.7
1990 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars -4.6
1989 DET Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars -3.1
1988 HOU Hakeem Olajuwon, Rodney McCray -2.3
1987 BOS Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale -1.5
1986 MIL Paul Pressey, Sidney Moncrief -4.5
1985 MIL Paul Pressey, Sidney Moncrief -4.3
1984 PHI Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks -3
1983 PHI Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone -3.8
1982 PHI Bobby Jones, Caldwell Jones -3
1981 PHI Bobby Jones, Caldwell Jones -6
1978 POR Bill Walton, Lionel Hollins, Maurice Lucas -3.7
1976 BOS Dave Cowens, John Havlicek, Paul Silas -1.6
1975 BOS John Havlicek, Paul Silas -3
1974 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -3
1974 CHI Jerry Sloan, Norm Van Lier -4.1
1973 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -4.3
1973 LAL Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain -5
1972 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -1.6
1972 LAL Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain -5.3
1971 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier -3.9
1970 NYK Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed -6.6

The only worse defensive team to get two players on the All-Defensive first team was the 1992-93 Pistons, who placed Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman despite allowing 0.9 points MORE than league average per 100 possessions.

It was Dumars’ and Rodman’s fourth straight season making the All-Defensive first team together, and Detroit defended very well the prior three. Some of the Pistons’ downturn was due to the Bad Boys aging – and that probably should have applied more to Dumars. This was his last All-Defensive selection. But Isiah Thomas declining rapidly and Terry Mills filling a larger role aren’t the fault of Rodman and Dumars.

Plus, the Pistons played at a vey slow pace. Though they ranked just 15th of 27 teams in points allowed per possession, they ranked seven in points allowed per game.

Jordan and Paul have no such explanations. The Clippers’ core isn’t moving past its prime, and they play at a reasonably fast pace. I didn’t have Paul on my All-Defensive first team, but he’s at least close. Jordan, on the other hand, didn’t stack up favorably to Rudy Gobert, Andrew Bogut, Nerlens Noel and Marc Gasol. Yet, he topped them anyway.

The best rationale I see: Doc Rivers is a heck of a campaigner.